MX23RW : Friday, July 30 00:29:18| >> :600:128102:128102:
Dec 19, 2020 at 6pm UK at Stade Velodrome
Thauvin (45')
Nagatomo (25')
FT(HT: 1-1)
Nagatomo (21' og.)
De Smet (19'), Bilal Toure (78'), Cassama (90+2')

Preview: Marseille vs. Reims - prediction, team news, lineups

Sports Mole previews Saturday's Ligue 1 clash between Marseille and Reims, including predictions, team news and possible lineups.

Marseille will be aiming to bounce back from their midweek defeat to Rennes when they welcome Reims to the Orange Velodrome on Saturday evening.

In contrast, the struggling visitors managed to pick up a vital three points on Wednesday as they overcame Nantes 3-2 at home.

Match preview

Marseille manager Andre Villas-Boas pictured in October 2020© Reuters

Marseille and Rennes had both seen their Champions League journeys end in the group stage, but Les Olympiens had continued to perform domestically, which is more than can be said for Rennes.

Andre Villas-Boas's men quickly took the lead at the Roazhon Park through Pape Gueye, but the 21-year-old was soon given his marching orders for two yellow cards before the half-time whistle blew, which allowed Rennes to turn the game on its head in the second 45.

Hamari Traore and Adrien Hunou's goals saw Les Rouge et Noir march to their second victory in a row and end Marseille's winning streak, with Les Olympiens prevailing in their last six top-flight matches before that narrow defeat to Rennes in midweek.

However, Montpellier failed to take advantage of Marseille's defeat as they lost to Metz, and with Lyon only managing to take a point from their clash with Brest, the top three is still within touching distance for Villas-Boas's men.

Marseille, who currently sit three points adrift of third-placed Lyon, could find themselves in the top three by the close of play this weekend, but they would have to hope for a six-goal swing in their favour as Lyon travel to Nice on the same evening.

Reims manager David Guion pictured in October 2020© Reuters

Reims certainly do not have the look of a side who qualified for the Europa League last term, but David Guion's men picked up a crucial three points against fellow strugglers Nantes in midweek.

Nantes captain Nicolas Pallois ensured that his team went into half time with a 1-0 lead, but a flurry of goals from El Bilal Toure, Boulaye Dia and Mathieu Cafaro put Reims out of sight before Ludovic Blas added a late consolation for Les Canaris.

With Lorient, Nimes and Dijon all losing in midweek, Reims managed to open up a two-point gap between themselves and the bottom three, and Guion's men could potentially rise as high as 14th should results go their way this weekend.

However, defeat for Les Rouges et Blances gives Nimes and Lorient - who play Saint-Etienne and Rennes respectively - the opportunity to leapfrog Reims, who would drop to 19th with defeat if their two relegation rivals both triumph this weekend.

Marseille have only managed to prevail in one of their last six matches against Reims, though, with Guion's men managing to win 2-0 at the Orange Velodrome last season.

Marseille Ligue 1 form: WWWWWL
Marseille form (all competitions): WWWLWL

Reims Ligue 1 form: DLLDLW

Team News

Marseille's Morgan Sanson celebrates scoring their first goal in March 2020© Reuters

Marseille's Gueye will play no part in this one following his sending off in midweek, but Duje Caleta-Car returns from his own suspension and should slot in at centre-back in place of Leonardo Balerdi.

Michael Cuisance is in line to replace Gueye in midfield, with Morgan Sanson unlikely to feature as he nurses a hamstring problem.

Jordan Amavi had only just made his comeback from injury before being forced off after 20 minutes against Rennes, so Yuto Nagatomo is set for a start on Saturday.

Reims have very few absentees to contend with at this moment in time, with Greek striker Anastasios Donis the only injury concern as he recovers from an ankle problem, but Valon Berisha and Yunis Abdelhamid are reportedly fitness doubts.

Cafaro will hope to have done enough to warrant a starting place with his goal against Nantes, while Nathanael Mbuku should return to the fold after being rested in midweek.

Marseille possible starting lineup:
Mandanda; Sakai, Gonzalez, Caleta-Car, Nagatomo; Kamara, Rongier, Cuisance; Thauvin, Benedetto, Payet

Reims possible starting lineup:
Rajkovic; Foket, Faes, Abdelhamid, Konan; Mbuku, Munetsi, Berisha, Cafaro; Dia, Toure

SM words green background

We say: Marseille 2-0 Reims

Bar a 4-0 crushing of Montpellier earlier in the season, Reims have struggled for results on unfamiliar territory, although they will have fond memories of last season's win at the Orange Velodrome. However, Marseille will view this game as an ideal opportunity to recover from their disheartening midweek defeat, so we expect Villas-Boas's men to get the job done and keep the pressure on the top three.

Top betting tip

Our expert tipster partners at are predicting over 1.5 goals in this match. Click here to find out what else they are predicting for this game and for more of their tried-and-tested football tips.Over 1.5:data

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Friday's key events

· The athletics schedule begins, with 100m sprinter Dina Asher-Smith among the names in action on the opening day. The men's 10,000m final concludes the action, with Team GB's Sam Atkin and Marc Scott taking part in the absence of 2012 and 2016 champion Sir Mo Farah (1am-2.30pm)

· Victoria Thornley is Team GB's representative in the women's single sculls final (1.33am)
· Great Britain will be going for gold in the men's eight final (2.25am)

· Team GB duo Molly Renshaw and Abbie Wood take part in the women's 200m breaststroke final, but new Olympic record-holder Tatjana Schoenmaker of South Africa is the hot favourite (2.41am)
· Luke Greenbank has very realistic ambitions of picking up a medal in the men's 200m backstroke final (2.50am)
· There is also British representation in the women's 100m freestyle final, although any medal for Anna Hopkin would be a surprise (2.59am)
· With one gold and one silver already under his belt at these Games, Duncan Scott goes again in the men's 200m individual medley final (3.16am)

· Bryony Page will be looking to repeat her 2016 heroics in the women's event (5am-7.30pm)

· Bradley Forbes-Cryans will be looking to emulate Rio gold medallist Joe Clarke in the men's kayak event (6am-9am)

· The women's tournament enters the quarter-finals, with Great Britain facing Australia at the Ibaraki Kashima Stadium (10am)

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